Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2017

Other Code Provisions

Vehicle Code


CHAPTER 2. Transfers of Title or Interest

Article 3. Notice and Application

Section 5901

5901. Notice of transfer. (a) Every dealer or lessor-retailer, upon transferring by sale, lease, or otherwise any vehicle, whether new or used, of a type subject to registration under this code, shall, not later than the end of the fifth calendar day thereafter not counting the day of sale, give written notice of the transfer to the department at its headquarters upon an appropriate form provided by it.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision or in subdivision (c), the dealer or lessor-retailer shall enter on the form and pursuant to Section 32705(a) of Title 49 of the United States Code, on the ownership certificate, the actual mileage of the vehicle as indicated by the vehicle's odometer at the time of the transfer. However, if the vehicle dealer or lessor-retailer has knowledge that the mileage displayed on the odometer is incorrect, the licensee shall indicate on the form on which the mileage is entered that the mileage registered by the odometer is incorrect. A vehicle dealer or lessor-retailer need not give the notice when selling or transferring a new unregistered vehicle to a dealer or lessor.

(c) When the dealer or lessor-retailer is not in possession of the vehicle that is sold or transferred, the person in physical possession of the vehicle shall give the information required by subdivision (b).

(d) A sale is deemed completed and consummated when the purchaser of the vehicle has paid the purchase price, or, in lieu thereof, has signed a purchase contract or security agreement, and has taken physical possession or delivery of the vehicle.

History.—Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 745, in effect January 1, 1993, operative July 1, 1993. Stats. 1993, Ch. 852, in effect January 1, 1994, added "and pursuant to . . . ownership certificate," after "on the form" in subdivision (b); substituted "A sale is deemed completed and consummated" for "For the purposes of this section, a sale is completed" in subdivision (d); added subparagraph (G) to paragraph (1) of subdivision (e); and deleted subdivision (f) which stated "This section shall become operative on July 1, 1993." Stats. 1994, Ch. 180, in effect July 11, 1994, deleted former subdivision (e) which specified that a dealer conducting a wholesale motor vehicle auction must report specific information on a single form to the board. Stats. 1998, Ch. 828 (SB 1637), in effect January 1, 1999, substituted "Section 32705(a) of Title 49 of the United States Code" for "the federal Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.)" after "pursuant to" in the first sentence and substituted "on which the mileage is entered that the mileage registered by the odometer is incorrect" for " the true mileage, if known, of the vehicle at the time of the transfer" after "the form" in the second sentence of subdivision (b).